By now I’m sure everyone is accutely aware of the social networking/media phenomenon that has transformed everyone’s old school web experience into a transparent user generated virtual world. Look for that to evolve even more in the coming months and year(s) The more that social media works its way into the fabric of our everyday lives, look for more far reaching and useful applications that hopefully have more significant value and meaning then posting pics of the drunkfest you went to over the weekend
So having said that, the first term to wrap your arms around in the new year is:
User Generated Content– Look for this to be dumbed down(see simplified) even more, to the extent that eventually everyone will have a web bio/resume/personal page devoted to who they are, what they are about, and all the gritty little details of their life. Almost like a web based drivers license. Our lives will be even more transparent than they already are, thanks to the tools that social networks will be providing.
Quest for Cool-The demographic of 12-24 year olds will push itself into more social relevence than it has at any other time in the history of pop culture. Because of the ease in which content can be pushed out to the masses, this demo, which otherwise would normally go through these years unnoticed, now can grab the status, the fame, recognition, and justification for social relevence that now accompany social networks. The quest for Me branding has never been more prevalent.
Individualistic Saturation– One of the offshoots of this “20 megs of stardom” instead of 15 minutes of fame, will be that we as a digital society will grow weary of tired content, quickly. In other words, as quickly as someone can rocket to digital stardom, they can, equally as fast, fall back to earth and fade into “Bolivian”-to quote Mike Tyson. This can be attributed to our homgenization of all things related to media. We need our content quick and to the point; and the minute we think it’s bogging us down, has grown tiresome, or has ceased to be entertaining, we are off to find the next great big thing.–>See William Hung.
The Age of Reinvention and Redefinition-With so many ways in which one can create alt-personas, we will hurdle faster towards an age in which there is the digital persona, the off-line persona and the “real-you”. What social media has done has given us a completely new set of “friends” that one can hang with and thus, this is the pack that people will be running with when they are online. Because of the intense focus of all things media driven, this will lead to people who will extend and break the boundaries and barriers of social acceptance. This will ultimately cause us as a society to redefine the terms,”social acceptance, social values, social morals, and social ettiquite.
The EIAV Phenomenon– The Everyone is a Videographer phenomenon has changed the landscape of acceptable video content. What used to be taboo now has it’s own portal. What used to be objectionable is now made into a low budget high grossing movie released on 120 screens nationwide. Everyone is capable of filming anything and uploading it to social sites worldwide in a matter of minutes. This cottage industry will continue to boom as it is now easier for someone to film something and upload it versus writing about it. This has also led to the drive for fame through one doing something so mundane as filming oneself doing absolutely nothing.
MOSO- Mobile Social-Look for the boom of social networks tied to mobile networks. As it has slowly started to happen, watch for the big players to rapidly start to crank out more user friendly interfaces and applications on mobile devices that will converge with high speed networks, resulting in keeping social media freaks engaged with their social networks at all times. An advertisers dream, this will further solidify the mobile device as the most important devleopment since..well the internet!
Search Explodes– As Google continues to swallow up all aspects of what drives the user expereince online, look for search to become more integrated into how one conducts or initiates any type of online endeavor. What has happened and will continue to happen is that the re-emergance of the portal will become relevant again. As we get closer to the launch of the “G-phone”, be prepared for a massive push towards a mobile-social-search environment that will redefine portability and world wide exposure to all things global.
I said 7 but one more merits mentioning:
S-Commerce– As social networks continue to expand and grow at exponential rates, look for their to be more creative ways for users and advertisers to push products that are niche like in their importance and acceptance to the users. I have written about this before, so for reference, look to Lemonade.com
There is certainly more to discuss in the coming months but, for now lets work off of these 7 and see what else is under the hood. Is there a glaring omission here? Please feel free to contribute your thoughts. Certainly, we should not igonore how we as a digital culture need to address the oil shortage, creating a more eco-friendly environment, homelessness, world hunger, genocide, corrupt politicians and Britney Spears, but for now we will continue to focus on the biggest sea change in the online world since the advent of… well the internet.